NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 8 Women, Caste, and Reform

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science History Chapter 8 Women, Caste, and Reform are given below. These solutions contain answers to all the exercise questions given in the History textbook (Our Pasts III). All our solutions are updated as per the latest CBSE Syllabus and Guidelines. These solutions will also help you to score higher marks with the help of well-illustrated answers. All the questions and answers of Class 8 History Chapter 1 are provided here in PDF format.

Class 8 History Chapter 8 Women, Caste, and Reform NCERT Solutions

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Exercise Questions

Question 1: What social ideas did the following people support?

(a) Rammohun Roy
(b) Dayanand Saraswati
(c) Veerasalingam Pantulu
(d) Jyotirao Phule
(e) Pandita Ramabai
(f) Periyar
(g) Mumtaz Ali
(h) Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar


Rammohun Roy: Supported the banning of the practice of ‘Sati’

Dayanand Saraswati: Supported Widow remarriage

Veerasalingam Pantulu: Supported Widow remarriage

 Jyotirao Phule: Supported equality among castes

Pandita Ramabai: Supported Women’s Education, Economic Independence for women and set up widow homes

Periyar: Supported equality for untouchables.

Mumtaz Ali: Supported Women’s Education

Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar: Supported Widow remarriage

Question 2: State whether true or false:

(a) When the British captured Bengal they framed many new laws to regulate the rules regarding marriage, adoption, inheritance of property, etc.

Answer: True

(b) Social reformers had to discard the ancient texts in order to argue for reform in social practices.

Answer: False

(c) Reformers got full support from all sections of the people of the country.

Answer: False

(d) The Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1829.

Answer: False

Question 3: How did the knowledge of ancient texts help the reformers promote new laws?

Answer: Whenever the reformers wished to challenge a practice that seemed harmful, they tried to find a verse or sentence in the ancient sacred texts that supported their point of view. They then suggested that the practice as it existed at present was against early tradition. Thus, the knowledge of ancient texts helped the reformers promote new laws.

Question 4: What were the different reasons people had for not sending girls to school?

Answer: When Vidyasagar in Calcutta and other reformers in Bombay set up schools for girls many people had different reasons for not sending girls to school.

(i) They feared that schools would take girls away from home, thereby preventing them from doing their domestic duties.

(ii) They felt that travelling through public places in order to reach school would have a corrupting influence on girls.

(iii) They felt that girls should stay away from public spaces.

Question 5: Why were Christian missionaries attacked by many people in the country? Would some people have supported them too? If so, for what reasons?

Answer: The Christian missionaries were attacked by the people, as they were involved in the religious conversion of poor and tribal people that is, converting a Hindu into a Christian. These missionaries had also set up schools for tribal and poor kids to learn. However, the larger section of people who looked down upon the poor people and tribal people did not like the idea of exposing tribal people to education. Hence, the attacks on Christian missionaries started.

Question 6: In the British period, what new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as “low”?

Answer: Following new opportunities opened up for people who came from castes that were regarded as low:

  • In the British period, expansion of cities created a new demand of labour.
  • The poor from the villages and small towns started moving to the cities for taking new jobs.
  • They worked in municipal corporations as sweepers and sewage cleaners.
  • They also worked in the building of roads, digging of drains etc. Some also went to work in plantations in Assam, Mauritius, Trinidad and Indonesia.
  • They also found opportunities in the army.
  • Though working in new locations was often hard, but the poor took this as an opportunity for them to get away from the hold of the upper-caste landowners.

Question 7: How did Jyotirao the reformer justify his criticism of caste inequality in society?

Answer: Jyotirao Phule, who stood against caste inequality, believed that the upper castes being ‘Aryans’, are not the original inhabitants of their lands. He put forward his opinions by telling people that the land has always belonged to the lower-caste people and that the Aryans were outsiders. He looked forward to the golden age when lower-caste people can live peacefully without the intrusion of upper castes.

Question 8: Why did Phule dedicate his book Gulamgirito the American movement to free slaves?

Answer: Jyotirao Phule was concerned with all forms of inequalities and injustices existing in society—whether it was the plight of the upper-caste women, the miseries of the labourer, or the humiliation of the low castes. By dedicating his book Gulamgiri to the American movement to free slaves, he linked the conditions of the black slaves in America with those of the lower castes in India. This comparison also contains an expression of hope that one day, like the end of slavery in America, there would be an end to all sorts of caste discriminations in Indian society.

Question 9: What did Ambedkar want to achieve through the temple entry movement?

Answer: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar started a temple entry movement in 1927 which was participated by his Mahar caste followers. Brahmin priests were outraged when the lower castes used water from the temple tank. Dr. Ambedkar led three such movements for temple entry between 1927 and 1935. His aim was to make everyone see the power of caste prejudices within the society.

Question 10: Why were Jyotirao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker critical of the national movement? Did their criticism help the national struggle in any way?

Answer: Jyoti Rao Phule and Ramaswamy Naicker both were critical of the national movement, as they thought that there were no differences between anti-colonialists and the colonialists. Phule thought that the upper-caste people who wanted to fight against the Britishers will want to rule once the Britishers leave. Phule was always against the upper caste people as he called them the ‘outsiders.’

Naicker was a part of Congress party and his experiences led him to believe that the party was not free from the taint of casteism. So, he was reluctant to take part in the anti-British national movement that was not concerned about creating a caste-less society.

Their criticism helped strengthen the national struggle. Reformists started restructuring their thoughts to get rid of the differences between the upper caste and lower caste. The national struggle became the tool to eradicate caste differences, religious and gender inequality.

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